What does John 14:9 mean?
ESV: Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
NIV: Jesus answered: 'Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
NASB: Jesus *said to him, 'Have I been with you for so long a time, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
CSB: Jesus said to him, "Have I been among you all this time and you do not know me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
NLT: Jesus replied, 'Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?
KJV: Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Verse Commentary:
After Jesus promised to come and bring the disciples to be with Him (John 14:1–4), Thomas had asked how it was possible to know "the way" there when they didn't know where "there" was (John 14:5). Christ responded by claiming to be that way: that the means to salvation was through Him, not through human effort (John 14:6). He also mentioned seeing God (John 14:7), something which Philip was eager to do (John 14:8). Philip's question might have been a request to see something like Isaiah's vision (Isaiah 6:1) or the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–2).

Jesus starts with a gentle scolding, something He seems to have needed to do often for His inner circle (Matthew 16:9; Mark 8:21). The question itself is probably rhetorical, like asking someone "do you have no brain?" Jesus is not actually implying that Thomas does not know Him—He's making the point that Thomas does know Jesus, and for that reason he should understand what's being said. This figurative way of speaking continues into the next verse, as well.

This leads to a clear, unambiguous statement: to see Christ is to see God. They are One (John 14:7, 10–11). Philip is looking for some miraculous sign, but Jesus indicates His purpose is to be the revelation of God to mankind (2 Corinthians 4:6). In context with His other comments (John 10:30; 17:5), including frequent uses of "I Am" (John 8:58), there's no doubt whatsoever that Jesus confidently claimed to be God.
Verse Context:
John 14:1–14 continues Jesus' discourse with the disciples at the last supper. He has recently mentioned a traitor in their midst and predicted Peter's denials. That leads Jesus to reassure these men—reminding them that He has told them the truth and has all things in hand. In this passage, Christ famously refers to Himself as ''the way, and the truth, and the life.'' That is the sixth of seven such ''I Am'' statements included in John's gospel. This section includes Jesus' words, personal experience, and evidence of His miracles as reasons to maintain trust.
Chapter Summary:
Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ''the way, and the truth, and the life'' (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him.
Chapter Context:
After completing His public ministry in Jerusalem (John 12:36–38), Jesus has washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:3–5), predicted His betrayal (John 13:21), and foreseen Peter's denial (John 13:37–38). Chapter 14 begins a series of remarks meant to encourage the disciples, in the face of dire warnings. Among these are reminders that Jesus is planning to bring them to be where He is, assurance that He is ''the way,'' and the first explicit promises of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 15 will continue this address, beginning with Jesus' claim to be ''the true vine.''
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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